Nope. I Still Don’t Like It. Any Suggestions?

Kentmere’s ASA/ISO 400 black and white film, that is. In June of this year I bought a few rolls each of Kentmere 100 and 400 for trial purposes. I liked the results I got from the 100 speed film and ordered more of it (see First Look: Kentmere 100).

Kentmere 400-3 WP

A frame from my first roll of Kentmere 400. Shot on July 4, 2012.

I rarely use a 400 speed film, since I don’t often shoot moving objects with the film cameras, but on July 4th I loaded the Yashica rangefinder camera with the Kentmere 400 and rode downtown to try it out. I wasn’t favorably impressed with the 400 (see First Look: Kentmere 400). It was quite different than the 100, despite being only 2 stops faster. The grain was way too heavy for my taste.

Kentmere 400-3 crop WP

A crop of the above photo, showing the heavy grain of the Kentmere 400.

On November 24th, the women in the extended family were holding a baby shower for my youngest daughter at the oldest daughter’s house in Yucaipa, California. Since men do not typically attend those events unless they are the fathers, I thought I’d go hunting photos in Oak Glen on the shoulder of the San Bernardino Mountains, missing the games, etc., then make a few photos at the end of the shower.

Kentmere 400-4 WP

A frame from November 24, 2012. Again, heavy grain. My oldest granddaughter helps daughter Megan and son-in-law Fabian.

After finishing a roll of color film in Oak Glen, I loaded a roll of the Kentmere 400, then rode to nearby Yucaipa to catch the end of the shower (at present-opening time). I thought that the 400 would be a good film to use indoors because of the speed. I don’t like using flash equipment. There’s nothing wrong with flash photography. I just don’t like it, so I don’t use it. Luckily I don’t have to.

Kentmere 400-1 WP

My youngest granddaughter (at present) sleeps through part of her soon-to-be cousin’s baby shower.

There was enough light indoors, and the fast Color-Yashinon f/1.7 lens and the faster film helped the photos turn out. But my results with the 400 were the same as earlier in the year. Way too much film grain. I’ll keep the two remaining rolls of the 400 in the film refrigerator  because I may need it some day, some year. But I’m definitely keeping my eyes open now for a 400 speed black and white film that has a very fine grain, which I’ll use when I need the extra two stops of speed.

Any 400 Speed Black and White Film Suggestions or Comments?

I rarely get a lot of comments on this blog (I’m not sure why – comment away whenever you feel like it). But I’d like to hear from any of you film shooters about your favorite black and white films; What your favorite black and white ISO 400 film is, what you like about it, etc. Sort of a general review. It might help direct my attention toward what film(s) to try out for those rare occasions I need to shoot at that speed.

The photo below was another B&W 400 speed frame from July 4, 2012. Grainy, but I like it…

Kentmere 400-2 WP